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Pest Busters: How to Maintain Office Cleanliness

03 June 2024

Since people either work in hybrid setups or work-from-home situations these days, there are more opportunities that employees are back in the office.

If you're an employer, you don't want them to return to an office that is now home to many pests. You want to make sure that it's clean and that the cleanliness is easy to maintain. You can of course hire a professional team to get rid of the pests and clean the office from every nook and corner. But that doesn't mean the office will always be clean. There should be a system that will work for everyone and be easy to follow as well so that cleanliness is easy to maintain.

And since people will also be back from their holiday breaks, you'd know that the office will once again be alive. There will be food in the fridge, food remains in the trash, and many other signs of humans once the office is back in operation. It means that the office would once again invite pests over. And these pests are not friendly at all to anyone's health.

What do you think a company's headquarters infested with pests gives an impression of?

Knowing what you're up against is the first step in any number of strategies to put these pests at bay. Here are a few common office pests to be on the lookout for.

Ants - Ants are another regular sight in offices. Ants will naturally gather in a line and march toward the source if there are people and food nearby. In areas with food leftovers, trash, etc., like the pantry or close to trash cans, you'll probably notice them very frequently.

In areas with food leftovers, trash, etc., like the pantry or close to trash cans, you'll probably notice them very frequently.

Cockroaches - Cockroaches are yet another pantry inhabitant of a filthy workplace. Where there is food and water, they will undoubtedly be. They'll most likely seek refuge in places where they can find enough food to survive.

Flies - When there is damp organic material in the office, flies will be present. In a damp environment, adult flies will go ahead to laying their eggs.

Spiders - Finding spiders in the office on occasion is not surprising. Why? The reason is that they frequently flourish in warm, dry environments like the corners of rooms and your desk. Because eating insects is essential to spider life, the presence of spiders indicates the presence of insects.

Termites - Offices frequently attract termites because there is paper and cardboard lying about. Termites also adore cellulose-containing materials like wood, plants, and animals.

Rats and mice - In the worst situation, offices that are filthy and cluttered may start to attract rats. Rats typically target trash bins, open food containers, leftover food, and dump sites at night.

Bedbugs - Visitors and employees to the office may bring bedbugs with them. Bed bugs are to be avoided because they feed on human blood and breed swiftly in cushions, cloth, and furniture.

Silverfish - Because they enjoy the humidity in bathrooms, silverfish are often seen near drains. They ultimately appeared in the office, close to starched linen and book covers.

Daily Maintenance Cleaning

Although we do not wish these pests around, they naturally flourish in areas where people congregate and leave behind food scraps and debris. However, if you continue your daily cleaning routine, you can control them and keep them away.

1. Everyday cleaning is required for internal glass and automatic doors.

2. Don't let spills and stains on furniture dry out and remain there indefinitely. Any surface, including walls, floors, and carpets, should be cleaned of them.

3. Vacuuming is required in areas with carpets, matting, and hard floors.

4. Use a disinfectant when mopping hard surfaces.

5. Ensure that horizontal furniture surfaces are free of dust, and then clean them down with disinfectant.

6. Never leave unclean objects in restrooms, urinals, sinks, or other areas. After using, be sure to sanitize and clean.

7. The trash must all be emptied in the later part of the day.

Remember that decluttering, dusting, disinfecting, and replacing curtains every two weeks should all be part of your weekly routine. This includes everything from shelves, filing cabinets, and workstations to phones, keyboards, and window sills. The pantry refrigerator must be cleaned once a month, as well as any hard-to-reach spots such as chairs, vents, ceiling fans, and couches. Pipes should be cleaned of any gunk accumulation, and any leaks should be repaired immediately.

Encourage active participation from employees

Only if there is a strong agreement amongst employees to keep the office tidy can cleanliness be accomplished and maintained.

There should be guidelines for using the restroom and sink, clearing your own desk of clutter, throwing trash away, and perhaps not eating or drinking at your desk. These guidelines should be explained to new workers, and old employees should be reminded using notices and memoranda posted in the relevant locations.

If bedbugs are found, they were probably brought in by someone. A personal meeting between the employee involved and the human resources division can be used to discuss and resolve this.

When it comes to pets, only those who are clean and free of bugs must be permitted inside the office.

Mobile file cabinets, organizers, and storage units must be made available to staff in order to support them. All of these will aid in clearing up personal workstation clutter and offer storage options for documents and other objects utilized and kept at the workplace.

In the worst possible cases

In some circumstances, pest management is already necessary. In this instance, daily cleaning won't be sufficient.

Find the bugs' points of entry and seal them all. Crevices and cracks need to be caulked. Pipe spaces need to be sealed off with steel wool. Any holes should be covered with wire mesh.

Pests should be checked on all delivery packages.

Plumbing and pipe issues must be resolved right away.

Use garbage cans with plastic lids and tight closures.

After implementing all of these precautions, if the workplace is still plagued with pests, additional steps should be done, such as installing flywire doors, insect light traps, and rodent baits. Likewise, use insecticides. After using a high-pressure steamer to kill eggs, vacuum bedbug-infested surfaces. Use contact and residual sprays that, when applied to frames, will kill insects immediately and after a few weeks, respectively. As per Quill, s pray three times every two weeks.

If everything fails, seek assistance from a professional.